Archive for the ‘Covert Operations’ Category

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Hawks Desperate to Drum Up an Excuse for War

It is likely that Al Qaeda rebels – and not the Syrian government – carried out the chemical weapons attack which the hawks in Washington are trying to use as a reason to invade.

Haaretz reported on March 24th, “Jihadists, not Assad, apparently behind reported chemical attack in Syria“.

Te Syria Tribune released a video in December allegedly showing Syrian rebels killing rabbits with chemical weapons, and threatening to use them against supporters of the Syrian government. (It is impossible at this point to say whether this is genuine or propaganda).

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson – the former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell under President George W. Bush – said yesterday that the Syrian chemical weapons could be a “Israeli false flag operation”.

Wilkerson said that he had been told by his sources in the intelligence community that evidence that Syria had used chemical weapons was “really flaky” and that President Barack Obama should think twice before intervening.

“This could have been an Israeli false flag operation,” he said. “You’ve got basically a geo-strategically, geo-political — if you will — inept regime in Tel Aviv right now.”

Indeed, Neoconservatives planned regime change in Syria – and throughout the Middle East and North Africa – 20 years ago.

And carrying out acts of violence and blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change – i.e. false flag terror – was discussed over 50 years ago by British and American leaders.

And the “rebels” in Syria that the U.S. has been supporting are Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, the New York Times s reported last week that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorist,

But that doesn’t matter … war is sold just like toothpaste, and once there is a sufficient excuse for war – real or made up – we can march forward.

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May 22nd, 2013

 “We have failed over and over again in our attempts to pull the strings of Middle Eastern politics.”

In an extremely disappointing vote, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on Tuesday voted 15-3 to authorize the president to—among other things—arm and train the rebels in Syria who are fighting the government forces of President Bashar al-Assad.

This bill is terrible, and should be rejected by the Senate.

Yet, even amid this committee vote, there were a few bright spots in the form of Sens. Chris Murphy, Tom Udall, and Rand Paul, who were the three who voted no. Their vote wasn’t just correct, but their assessment of the situation should be heeded by the Obama administration and the full Senate as both consider what should be done, if anything, in Syria.

Once we introduce weapons, we have zero control over them. Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, was correct when he said the United States “could turn over the weapons we’re talking about and next day they end up in the hands of al-Qaida.”

Yes, the legislation mandates that any groups who receive weapons are thoroughly investigated and vetted. But as long as groups are fighting together, they will exchange arms. And as long as groups need funding, they’ll be open to sell arms. Where those arms end up, no one really knows.

But as Udall noted, some of these groups are reportedly affiliated with al-Qaida. “It’s impossible to know who our friends are,” said Paul, adding that any of the rebels could turn their arms over to terrorist-affiliated groups.

Our next concern should focus on Syria’s neighbor to the East. We could end up killing the very Iraqi Army our troops died building and reignite the Iraqi Civil War.

Some of the so-called Syrian rebels are reportedly tied to Sunni insurgents from Iraq. Those same Sunni insurgents used terror attacks to try to kill Americans and destabilize the Iraqi government that was permitting us to operate there.

I helped train the Iraqi Army during my second tour in Iraq and still have contacts there. So, when I read a couple of months ago that violence had spilled over into the Iraqi border, and that nine Iraqi troops lost their lives, I called a colonel in the Iraqi Army to hear more about it.

When I asked about the Free Syrian Army, he replied: “What Army? You mean the terrorists?” That said it all in a nutshell. The Iraqi Army doesn’t consider them rebels or freedom fighters or anything of the sort. Their concern is that many of the anti-Assad forces are the same terrorists they’ve fought before and who still are targeting the Iraqi Army. Days after the attacks in Iraq by Syrian rebels, al-Qaida claimed responsibility.

It is astounding to me that Sen. John McCain of Arizona voiced strong support for arming the rebels. This is the same John McCain who said it was worth billions of dollars and thousands of American lives to get the Iraqi government and Army on its feet. Now, he’s for arming those who would seek to destroy it.

Moreover, there is no winning scenario when we get involved in other nations’ civil wars and proxy wars.

On this point, Sen. Murphy said it best: “We have failed over and over again in our attempts to pull the strings of Middle Eastern politics.”

It would be nice if this was a clean, simple conflict. But it isn’t. Sometimes the enemy of your enemy can also be your enemy.  Not only are there a wide array of groups involved, but the introduction of Iranian and Hezbollah forces combined with support from Russia, provide a strong center of gravity for Assad regime support, eliminating the possibility of UN action. The insurgents aren’t organized, and even with weapons, would have a difficult time conducting decisive combat operations in what looks like a stalemate.

If our view is that by arming rebels, the new Syrian government would be friendly to the US, then I would say that would happen anyway. A new Syrian government would need to reach out to the nations of the world for support—including the United States. Look no further than Egypt for proof. We didn’t arm anti-government forces there, and yet, Mohammed Morsi immediately assured us that Egypt’s treaties would remain in place and relations with the United States would remain normalized.

The Senate bill that passed committee is misguided and dangerous.  Thankfully, three brave Senators bucked the group-think and laid out a strong case for the bill’s defeat. In an era where nearly every single piece of legislation dies in the Senate, this one is worthy of that fate.

March 21, 2013

“If you’re caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are you’ll go to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently, if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your own bed at night. Every single individual associated with this, and I just think it’s just fundamentally wrong.”

Elizabeth Warren is still waiting for an answer.

During Senate testimony Liz Warren asks how much drug-laundered money it takes before banking regulators consider shutting down a bank. Hilarity ensues. And no one ever answers the question.

Witnesses were:

1. David Cohen, Sec. for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, U.S. Treasury

2. Thomas Curry, Comptroller, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency

3. Jerome H. Powell, Governor, Federal Reserve System

May 7, 2013

President Obama, during a recent visit to Mexico, pointed the finger at American’s use of illegal drugs and guns for Mexico’s plague of violence. “Much of the root cause for violence that has been happening here in Mexico, for which so many Mexicans have suffered, is the demand for illegal drugs in the United States,” Obama said. He continued, “Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States.”

The fact is, this story goes much deeper. It is true that there is a demand for drugs in the united states, but we should ask these vital questions: Who has facilitated this situation? Who is supporting the drug lords? Looking into this story, we can reasonably conclude that the American people are scapegoats for the crimes of money laundering banks and the ATF.

As reported by Bloomberg in 2010, mega banks including Wells Fargo (Bailed out with $36 billion in taxpayer money in 2008) and Bank of America (Which began giving credit cards to illegal aliens with no social security numbers in 2007) were caught laundering money to Mexican drug cartels. In total over $300 billion was laundered in operations that were blatantly ignored by Wachovia, now part of Wells Fargo. Among other illegal activities, the money bought planes used to deliver narcotics. After paying a measly $160 million in fines – and “promising not to do it again” – Wachovia is officially off the hook for its crimes.

Drug lords would have a hard time exerting their authority without armaments. Fortunately for them, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) kindly supplied weapons in operation Fast and Furious. The operation allowed guns to be sold to suspected Mexican drug dealers to be “tracked.” Not surprisingly, Fast and Furious weapons have been found at crime scenes in Mexico. Can this be chalked up to a “botched operation,” or is there a conscious intent to use it for wider objectives?

CBS news uncovered documents in 2011 that showed the ATF discussing Fast and Furious as a means to justify tighter gun control measures. Now, President Obama is pointing to this violence and proclaiming the same objectives. In his version of reality the American people – in their wanton lust for guns and drugs – are to blame.

It is vitally important that the official narrative on this issue be deconstructed. The establishment will ride on its white horse proclaiming ignorance of any wrongdoing. In fact, it will use the violence it generates to elevate itself over the people even further.

From April 27, 2011

The “logistical coordinator” for a top Mexican drug-trafficking gang that was responsible for purchasing the CIA torture jet that crashed with four tons on cocaine on board back in 2007 has told the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago that he has been working as a U.S. government asset for years.

Jesus Vicente Zambada Niebla is the son of Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada Garcia, one of the top kingpins of the Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization. Niebla was arrested in Mexico in March 2009 and extradited to the United States to stand trial last February.

“The indictment pending against Zambada Niebla claims he served as the “logistical coordinator” for the “cartel,” helping to oversee an operation that imported into the U.S. “multi-ton quantities of cocaine … using various means, including but not limited to, Boeing 747 cargo aircraft, private aircraft … buses, rail cars, tractor trailers, and automobiles,” writes Narcosphere’s Bill Conroy.

In a two page court pleading filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, Niebla claims that he was working on behalf and with the authority of, “The U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”),” since January 1, 2004.

Niebla is also connected to the Gulfstream II jet that wrecked with four tons of cocaine on board on September 24, 2007. European investigators linked the plane’s tail number, N987SA, to past CIA “rendition” operations. The bill of sale for the Gulfstream jet, sold weeks before it crashed, listed the name of Greg Smith, a pilot who had previously worked for the FBI, DEA and CIA.

The plane was purchased by Niebla’s Sinaloa drug-trafficking organization through a syndicate of Colombian drug-traffickers that included a CIA asset named Nelson Urrego, according to another undercover CIA operative, Baruch Vega, who was involved in the deal.

“The Gulfstream II jet, according to Mexican authorities, was among a number of aircraft acquired by the Sinaloa drug organization via an elaborate money laundering scheme involving a chain of Mexican casa de cambios (currency exchange houses) overseen by alleged Sinaloa organization operative Pedro Alfonso Alatorre Damy, according to Mexican government andU.S. media reports,” writes Conroy.

Sinaloa bought the jet by wiring money through the U.S. banking giant Wachovia, now a subsidiary of Wells Fargo. “In total, nearly $13 million dollars went through correspondent bank accounts at Wachovia for the purchase of aircraft to be used in the illegal narcotics trade. From these aircraft, more than 20,000 kilograms of cocaine were seized,” states Wachovia’s deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Wachovia was forced to pay a penalty of around $160 million dollars for allowing the money to be laundered through its correspondent bank accounts.

“So, the criminal cases pending against alleged Colombian narco-trafficker Urrego, accused money-launderer Damy and Sinaloa organization logistics chief Zambada Niebla all appear to connect through the Gulfstream II cocaine jet at some level,” summarizes Conroy.

Another private aircraft that was full of cocaine crashed in New Mexico on Sunday morning, but the plane has yet to be identified.

In addition to smuggling narcotics into the United States, Niebla is also accused of obtaining weapons from the U.S. with the intent to use them to cause violence in Mexico City, leading to the murders of several innocent people. Despite the fact that the Obama administration has cited the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico as an excuse with which to attack the second amendment rights of Americans, it was recently revealed that the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives deliberately allowed guns to be smuggled from the U.S. into the hands of Mexican drug lords under “Operation Fast and Furious”. President Obama later denied that he had any knowledge of the program.

Niebla’s assertion that he smuggled drugs from Mexico into the United States while working for the U.S. government adds further weight to the already voluminous body of evidence that confirms the CIA and U.S. banking giants are the top players in a global drug trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars a year, information made public by the likes of Gary Webb, who it was claimed committed suicide in 2004 despite the fact that he was found with two gunshot wounds to the head and after Webb himself had complained of death threats and “government people” stalking his home.

For more background information on the story, be sure to read Bill Conroy’s excellent article over at Narco News entitled Mexican Narco-Trafficker’s Revelation Exposes Drug War’s Duplicity.

Jeremy Scahill goes to Yemen in an Al Jazeera Documentary to investigate then effect of America’s war in Yemen, as part of the greater ‘War on Terror’.